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date: 19 October 2019

Kilwardby, Robertlocked

  • Andreas Giger

Extract

(bc1215; d Viterbo, Sept 10, 1279). English theologian and scientist. He was a teacher of arts in Paris (c1237–45), noted for his extensive knowledge of Aristotle and for his numerous writings on subjects ranging from the liberal arts to religion. He later joined the Dominicans and was provincial prior of the order in England between 1261 and 1272. In 1273 he was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury and in 1278 was named Cardinal-Bishop of Porto and Santa Rufina. His introduction to all sciences (including music), De ortu scientiarum (ed. A.G. Judy, London, 1976), was possibly written about 1250, some time between his entry into the Dominican order and the completion of his theological studies.

In De ortu scientiarum Kilwardby synthesized musical ideas by earlier scholars, especially Boethius, reinterpreting some aspects on the basis of the intensive reception of Aristotle’s works. The central problem of defining the essence of music and its relationship to the other sciences was not, however, resolved satisfactorily: typically for his time, the author wavered between a Neoplatonic interpretation of music as a mathematical science and an Aristotelian one based on principles of logic and empiricism. The increasing influence of Aristotle apparent in ...

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